Jamie Foxx Discusses His Illness, Saying He Couldn’t Walk And “Saw The Tunnel”

@iamjamiefoxx via Instagram

Back in July, actor Jamie Foxx posted a video where he talked about a serious illness that first hit him in April, saying he “went to hell and back”:

Recently, Foxx made his first public appearance since he was hospitalized. The public appearance was to accept the Vanguard Award at the Critics Choice Association‘s Celebration of Cinema & Television Honoring Black, Latino & AAPI Achievements ceremony, which was held on December 4, 2023.

After Foxx walked on stage to accept the award, he took the opportunity to “thank everyone” before discussing his illness and recovery. He started by admitting that six months ago, he “couldn’t actually walk.” Then he paused, seeming to look for the right words and to control his emotions. The crowd responded by applauding and telling him to “take your time.”

The applause seemed to help Foxx gather his thoughts, and he came back by joking, “I’m not a clone.”

On a more serious note, Foxx shared, “I cherish every single minute now. It’s different.” He added, “I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy.”

Foxx continued, insinuating that he was close to death by saying, “I saw the tunnel.” After cracking a few jokes, he added, “I want to thank you for all of the prayers.” He explained that now, when people see him out, they tell him, “Lord, have mercy Jesus,” and he’s not quite used to that yet, but he’s working on it.

He also thanked his sister and his daughter for refusing to share any details about his medical struggles. He added, “You need somebody like that in your corner.” He explained that one thing they didn’t share was that Foxx went to Chicago for some of his healing and recovery. He said, “No one knew where I was. No one knew what was going on.” He was thankful for that.

He shared a story about visiting a place in Chicago where he could exercise, and the woman at the front desk insisted on seeing his face to check him in. He wore a mask to keep his identity hidden, but when he took it down to show her his face, she said “Lord, have mercy Jesus. I’ve been praying for you.” Foxx said it was at that moment he knew “I was going to be alright.”

Watch the video below to see Foxx’s full acceptance speech.